Mar 2017 - Cabot eNews
March's edition of Cabot eNews.
In this edition: _________________ 1. Mayor's 2017 Council budget passed 2. Metro Mayor election just 6 weeks away 3. New Baldwin Street Link to open Sunday 2 April 4. Two bits of good news on Bristol air quality 5. Violence at Triangle nightclubs 6. Prince Street bridge re-opens "late April" 7. 506 bus to be axed when Metrobus starts 8. Harbour power-boat racing update 9. Clean Streets survey 10. Clean up Bristol Harbour 11. Brandon Yard update 12. McArthur's Warehouse plans 13. "Memory Cafe" in Hotwells 14. Jacobs Wells Baths Update 15. Tesco Bags of Help funding scheme update 16. Hotwells & Harbourside neighbourhood forum 17. Bristol Harbourside Monday Morning Social Running 18. Childminders wanted 19. Local exhibitions 20. And finally... I'm a father! _________________ 1. Mayor's 2017 Council budget passed This isn't about the National budget shambles from Chancellor Philip Hammond, but is about the Council's own budget set a couple of weeks previous to that. Labour Party Mayor Marvin Rees has passed his Council budget un-amended, which meant a 5% rise in Council tax, and cuts of £33m from this year's spending to bridge a hole created by the Government's cuts. Details of the cuts can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/lwalbjt Being forced into such extreme cuts is a miserable time for any council. A particular blow is the cutting of all neighbourhood partnership and forum funding, which will mean that the current system ends in a few months. A number of amendments to the budget were proposed by Lib Dems, Conservatives and Green Party. All of them were voted down by the majority Labour group, which I think was a real shame, as several of them were very sensible and used clever finance shifts to soften the blow of some of the cuts. I spoke a couple of times in the debate on the amendments; the meeting was webcast live and is available to view in full at: www.bristol.gov.uk/webcast _________________ 2. Metro Mayor election just 6 weeks away On May 4th there will be a "Metro Mayor" election across most of former Avon. The new Metro Mayor will chair a committee of the Council leaders in the area, and will work only on strategic issues including planning, housing, transport and employment/skills; and have a budget of £30m per year. If you aren't registered to vote, you need to do so ASAP in order to be able to vote: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote Former Government minister, Bristol West MP, and city centre councillor: Stephen Williams, is the Lib Dem candidate for this election. He is currently the bookie's favourite, just ahead of the Conservative candidate. Stephen's manifesto and other policy info are available here: https://stephenwilliamsmp.wordpress.com . His current campaigning activity is availble here: www.facebook.com/StephenWilliamsPolitician If you want to help our election effort in any way, or Stephen's campaign against a "hard Brexit", please email firstname.lastname@example.org _________________ 3. New Baldwin Street Link to open Sunday 2 April The MetroBus city centre improvements reach a major milestone on Sunday 2 April with the opening of the new link between Baldwin Street and St Augustine's Parade, and the introduction of new permanent city centre traffic routes. The changes will (hopefully) simplify traffic flows, reduce congestion and create more space for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists. The opening of the new link road means that some current traffic movements within the city centre will be ended. The movements no longer possible will be: * The right turn (northbound) from Baldwin Street to Lewins Mead * The left turn (southbound) from Rupert Street to Baldwin Street _________________ 4. Two bits of good news on Bristol air quality Our years-long campaign to clean up Bristol's air is starting to get results, with two bits of good news: 1) The Government has approved a £500,000 grant to the Council for a feasibility study to find out how big a clean air zone should be and which vehicles should be affected. This is superb news and means real work on planning the zone will start at last. http://tinyurl.com/lhphjue 2) The Council bans new diesel taxis! Bristol Council has warned cab drivers they will not be able to license diesel vehicles from April 1, 2018, with only petrol, hybrid and non-diesel 'Ultra Low Emission Vehicles' allowed. This is good news! http://tinyurl.com/mx3kf6d _________________ 5. Violence at Triangle nightclubs Many residents were horrified to hear (and see) the violence outside Analog nightclub on the Triangle on the weekend of 5th March, in which 4 people were stabbed and many more injured. http://tinyurl.com/lnax87a I contacted the Licensing department the next day to find out what action would result. The police are currently investigating the incident and the Council is liaising with them. Depending on where the police investigation leads the Council will decide its response. The Council understands the premises has recently changed ownership and will shortly be closing for a refit, therefore there is likely to be an application to transfer the licence in due course. In my opinion the Council should be tough as nails on venues where things like this happen, and I will be lobbying accordingly. _________________ 6. Prince Street bridge re-opens "late April" The Council has said that Prince Street bridge will open in "late April". To be honest, I wouldn't arrange anything important that requires this to have happened on time. Once bitten, etc... _________________ 7. 506 bus to be axed when Metrobus starts As a result of the Council budget cuts passed this month, the 506 Wessex bus will no longer serve Spike Island from 2nd September - it will terminate at the centre instead. However, the Council has assured me that this is timed to coincide with the start of the new Metrobus service along Cumberland Road, so bus users will be able to switch to the much more frequent and RELIABLE new service instead. The 506 has been a pretty woeful service in general, so I'm sure most will welcome its replacement by Metrobus! _________________ 8. Harbour power-boat racing update I have continued with asking questions in the Council trying to find out what is being planned for this event. I've been told that "site permissions are now being applied for". No go-ahead has been given, but the event is going to 'SAGE' (the Council's Safety Advisory Group); then it will go to the licensing department for outdoor-performance and alcohol licenses (which can be objected to in the usual manner by the public); then risk/safety assessments will be done. How the event fits with the city's Green Capital status (if at all) will be tested at the later event planning stage. _________________ 9. Clean Streets survey As a part of the Mayor's Clean Streets initiative Bristol Waste is currently looking at choices to help make the city tidier and more sustainable. Help make the city tidier and more sustainable by filling out the Bristol Clean Streets litter and recycling survey: http://bit.ly/2liVuf0 _________________ 10. Clean up Bristol Harbour This is a local group of volunteers working to improve the harbour by picking up the floating litter (just walking around or on water-crafts). They run clean-up sessions every month, and the next is Sunday 16th of April, 2pm-4pm followed by some drinks; meet by the Arnolfini pontoon. More info: http://cleanupbristolharbour.weebly.com _________________ 11. Brandon Yard update After the public consultation, it is expected that the plans for this site will go to Planning Committee in early April. Also, Unit10 - an artist-led social enterprise in Bristol - are carrying out an art project with St Mungo's, themed about tackling social isolation in the city. They will display some prints on the hoardings at Brandon Yard. As well as supporting a community initiative, the hope is that it will discourage some of the graffiti which has been placed on the hoardings. _________________ 12. McArthur's Warehouse plans Plans for the McArthur's Warehouse site in Bristol have been further developed by its new owner following a public consultation. The property, located on Gas Ferry Road, has been vacant for more than 20 years and is one of the last remaining development plots surrounding Bristol's Floating Harbour. The revised plans are a significant improvement, although there remain concerns about the height of the south end of the site, at 8 storeys. _________________ 13. "Memory Cafe" in Hotwells Holy Trinity church in Hotwells are extending their support to older people in the area. They are pleased to announce that following successful bids for funding they will be starting a monthly Trinity Memory Cafe. The first cafe will be 11am-1pm on Wednesday March 22nd. It will then take place every 4th Wednesday of the Month. The cafe will be a place for people with memory problems and their carers to meet, have a coffee, and cake, get information and advice about dementia with your local Dementia Navigator, or just socialise and chat with other like-minded people. They provide stimulating activities for carers and people with dementia which can help prevent boredom and aid relaxation. For example, live music, sing-alongs, quizzes, painting, memory box work, informative talks. There is no charge. Please contact Leanne for details: 0117 983 8878 - email@example.com - www.tcsdaycentre.co.uk _________________ 14. Jacobs Wells Baths Update The Bath building is back open, after a few days closure while some Health and Safety improvements were sorted out. The information event on the future of Jacobs Wells Baths on 28 Feb was well-attended and included a lively question and answer session. The next working group on the future of the Baths will meet at the Baths at 6.30-8.30pm, March 23rd. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend but were not at the previous meeting. Notes from the last meeting are available here: http://tinyurl.com/meb42ag _________________ 15. Tesco Bags of Help funding scheme update As well as funding green projects, the overall criteria for the scheme has now been expanded to include improvements to community buildings like scout huts, church or village halls or sports changing rooms, as well as funding outdoor/green spaces etc. Groups looking to hold seasonal events and activities, such as village fetes or Christmas lights etc are also eligible to apply for funding through the programme. As funding from the Council dries up in Bristol following this year's budget cuts, external funders such as this become more important. For more information and to apply for a grant: http://tinyurl.com/zgar4am _________________ 16. Hotwells & Harbourside neighbourhood forum On Wednesday 22rd March there will be a special forum: "Community influence on local decision making in times of cuts". This forum will be joint with the Central ward forum, 7-8.30pm, at The Pavilion, BS1 5JE, on harbourside. It will discuss how the community work done in the forums can continue after all funding was cut at the recent Council Budget meeting. The next meeting of the Central, Clifton and Harbourside Neighbourhood Partnership is Tuesday, 4th April, 7.00pm, at City Hall. _________________ 17. Bristol Harbourside Monday Morning Social Running Led by local runners, the run is open to all abilities and perfect for those looking for some daytime social running. It's not competitive - no one is left behind. Meet every Monday on the harbourside at Mardyke Steps behind The Galley Cafe next to Young Bristol at 9:25am for a 9:30 start. The run lasts for about an hour finishing roughly around 10.30. Running will be mainly on road on the harbourside circuit with the tow-path and Ashton Court being included as the weather improves. _________________ 18. Childminders wanted Now in the top 20% of local authority areas across the country, across Bristol there are around 450 independent childminders who look after children under eight years old. And there's room for more. The council supports the city's childminders with professional development, providing advice, information, suggestions for improvement to bring standards up all across the city, and is encouraging more people to take up the profession. Could you do this vital and rewarding role? The council holds free information sessions for people considering becoming a childminder. To find out more contact the Family Information Service on 0117 3574192. _________________ 19. Local exhibitions M-Shed: Skeletons - Our Buried Bones; 8 April - 3 Sep. The exhibition features 12 skeletons from London and the Bristol region, each with a unique story to tell. _________________ 20. And finally... I'm a father! Just a personal note to let you know I become a father earlier this month! Mother and new daughter are doing well, and I'm over the moon :-) . I'm coming to the end of a little bit of paternity leave, but please forgive me if I'm a little slow or scatty over the next few weeks - I plead lack of sleep! _________________